Kamala Harris Declines to Stake out Position on Court Packing, Defers to Biden

October 14, 2020 Updated: October 14, 2020

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) late Tuesday declined to say whether she supports or opposes proposals from Democratic colleagues to add seats to the Supreme Court, deferring to Joe Biden.

Harris is the running mate for Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee.

“Vice President Biden has been very clear with the American people where he stands,” Harris told Fox News in Washington. “The bottom line is there are, what, 21 days now from an election and that’s where we’re focused.”

Biden and Harris had refused to stake out a position on the proposals for weeks until Biden told a reporter on Monday that he’s “not a fan.”

“I’ve already spoken on—I’m not a fan of court-packing, but I don’t want to get off on that whole issue,” Biden said, repeating earlier statements that he thinks weighing in on the matter would only serve President Donald Trump and distract from the Republicans’ push to confirm Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

Some congressional Democrats, upset that Trump is getting a third Supreme Court nominee, have threatened to add seats to the court if Biden beats Trump and Democrats hold the House of Representatives and flip the Senate in the upcoming election.

Epoch Times Photo
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris are pictured in Phoenix, Ariz., on Oct. 8, 2020. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

If Senate Republicans “were to force through a nominee during the lame duck session—before a new Senate and president can take office—then the incoming Senate should immediately move to expand the Supreme Court,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said last month.

The size of the court can be changed through legislation. Is has ranged from five to 10 during America’s history but has remained at nine since 1869.

The strongest effort to add seats, or pack the court, came in 1937, when Democrat President Franklin Roosevelt, angered the court kept ruling against him, tried adding seats to make it more favorably aligned toward him.

Congress blocked the effort.

Trump has spoken out against the proposals.

“FDR’s own party told him you cannot PACK the United States Supreme Court, it would permanently destroy the Court,” Trump said in a social media post over the weekend.

“But now the Radical Left Democrats are pushing Biden to do this. He has zero chance against them!” he added.

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